Czaban Back on Local Morning Air
Since SportsTalk 980 became ESPN 980, coinciding with Tony Kornheiser's Monday Night Football radio vacation, our local AM sports gab options have been limited to Mike and Mike and Mike and Mike and Mike and Mike. Most mornings I don't listen. Today I did. Mike and Mike and Mike and Mike and Mike were running through their AFC playoff picks. Mike went with New England, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, San Diego, Jacksonville and the Jets. Mike, on the other hand, chose New England, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, San Diego, Jacksonville and the Jets. Kind of a nice demonstration of the lack of morning sports talk diversity.
But help may be on the way. As DCRTV reported yesterday (also mentioned on RI), a new Baltimore sports talker will launch this coming Monday, Fox 1370 Sports Radio, with old friend Jerry Coleman on board as sports director. Coleman will host an afternoon drive show from 3-6, tentatively called "Sports With Coleman," but much of the other content will be syndicated, at least initially. And that means Steve Czaban and Scott Linn's "First Team on Fox" should be available locally, at least to many of D.C.'s suburban Marylanders. (The station has a 50,000-watt daytime signal, according to Coleman.)
For the time being, this puts Baltimore ahead of D.C., 3-1, in the number of sports talkers, which doesn't speak particularly highly of D.C. fandom, although it's fair to speculate that both markets will be back to two sports talkers eventually. (Oh, and for any of you with sports interests that occasionally include events other than Redskins games, have you heard the promos for 980's "24-Hour Pregame Show?" I'm guessing the Redskins would be happy to score one point for every hour of their pre-game radio show, which is fairly remarkable.)
Czaban, of course, continues to co-host the Sports Reporters afternoons on the new ESPN 980, but anyone who wants to hear him on the air in the morning will now have to tune in to a rival station from a rival city featuring a rival national network, which all feels very odd. Will he be able to promote his morning show while on the air in the afternoon? Unclear. I just chatted with Czaban, and asked what it's like to have his local employer promoting his competition, the Mikes.
"Like anybody, it pisses you off," he said, while acknowledging that ESPN offers a powerful brand. "I won't deny that it's a product. It's just, to me, 'Mike and Mike' is a TV show that they carry on radio at this point. It's certainly well executed from a TV standpoint, but from what I'm used to doing, sports radio, it's just so packaged and safe. It's all very nice and neat. Real sports radio is sometimes ugly and raw and awkward and biased and unfair and all these other things.
"But hey, to the victor go the spoils, and the people writing the big checks to buy radio stations get to do what they want, and I just carry on."
As for Coleman, he says the Baltimore sports talk competition (ESPN 1300 and WNST 1570) is "very beatable," but that only time will tell whether Baltimore can really support three sports talkers. And Coleman's now back to covering the Ravens in a town that won't care all that much what's happening at his former haunt, Redskins Park. (Although Coleman does plan to invite fellow Baltimorean Jason La Canfora on his show.)
"It's kind of a dream come true to be able to help start up a sports station in your home town," Coleman told me. "I'm going to be different from a lot of talk show hosts in the fact that I've been out in the field, I've been in the locker room, I've shown my face and I will continue to do that. I've always believed if you're a talk show host or a columnist and you kill somebody one day, you have to show your face the next day or whenever the team is around, absolutely. I've never run from that. I'll definitely show my face."
Posted by: jonthefisherman | September 3, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: k | September 3, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: odessa steps magazine | September 3, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: UMD's Burning Couch | September 3, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: tb | September 3, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: UMD's Burning Couch | September 3, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Arlington Pimp | September 3, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: k | September 3, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: StetSports.com | September 3, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: JM needs AM (show) | September 3, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Brandon | September 3, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jimbo | September 3, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Mooz | September 3, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Bill Fitzgerald | September 3, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: odsessasteps | September 3, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Keith/Sterling,VA | September 3, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: sitruc | September 4, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Sam Malone | September 5, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.